THIS won’t take long.
In 2007, Val Morris-Cook won the seat by 305 votes. In 2008, John Kent retained the seat, winning by 247 votes. In 2010, Martin Healy won by 324. In 2011, Val won again by 521 and in 2012, John Kent won by 599 votes.
So, as you can see, the Labour have got this one locked down. A lot of it is down to the constant work and presence of council leader, John Kent, who, has very busy surgeries, is very busy in the ward and has his finger on the pulse of all local issues.
Over the last ten years, there has the odd rise in votes for other parties. BNP gained 436 in their fertile year of 2007. Charlie Key worked very very hard to garner over a 1000 votes in 2010. UKIP have hardly made in-roads. They will probably improve upon their 2012 showing of 273. When we say improve, we mean double.
The Labour candidate is Martin Kerin. You could not meet a nicer man than Martin. A committed Labour supporter since he was knee high. We have had great difficulty in pinning Mr Kerin down for an interview in between his business and domestic commitments. Which does make you wonder: Can he can fulfil his commitments as a councillor? Judging by how busy the postbag and surgeries are for this ward, they will surely need two committed councillors. Then again, you don’t want to put off younger people becoming councillors.
However, you know our feelings on the matter. There is an argument that you could easily ditch sixteen councillors in Thurrock. We said it in 2010. John Kent said it was not in their gift. Turkeys and Christmas etc etc. However, it does seem that the drastic cuts argument only exists where it is politically expedient.
The proof of the pudding appears to be those wards that have functioned pretty well with an “absentee” councillor…
YT prediction: Lab hold: 300
Scott Benton (Cons)
Martin Kerin (Lab)
Kevin Mulroue (Lib Dems)
Michael Wager (UKIP)